In 2020/21, 3.4 million Australians saw a health professional for mental health support and treatment. 17% went to their general practitioner (GP). The need for GPs specialising in mental health is on the rise.
The team at Heroes Home Doctor has the skills to support and treat a range of mental health conditions. We create a GP mental health care plan tailored to your needs so that you can begin your journey towards recovery. Plus, we come to you. This means we can treat you in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
Taking the leap – starting a conversation about your mental health.
Having a conversation about your mental health is the first – and biggest – step to take towards recovery.
We recommend that your first step to recovery is talking to your GP, who can also access specialist services for you with medicarerebates. If you book a mental health appointment with us, we will do an initial assessment to discuss your feelings, the impacts on your day-to-day life, and your treatment options. It’s a good idea to ask for a longer appointment so that you don’t feel rushed. This way, you can discuss your concerns in detail with your GP.
There is always a solution. We work with you to help find it. Here are seven questions your GP specialising in mental health may ask:
- Can you describe your symptoms and feelings?
- How long have you felt this way?
- How are these feelings impacting your lifestyle?
- Have you experienced these feelings before?
- What worries you the most about these symptoms and feelings?
- Does anyone in your family have/had this condition?
- Are you eating a healthy diet?
Before your appointment, you might choose to go through these questions to help clarify the main points you want to discuss with your GP. This will allow you to make the most of your appointment time.
There are also online tools available, such as this depression and anxiety checklist from Beyond Blue. This is not a diagnosis tool – it is a document that helps guide you and your GP towards a solution. If you complete this checklist before your consult, bring it along, as it can make talking to your GP about anxiety or depression a bit easier.
You will have questions of your own to ask. Remember that, as a GP specialising in mental health, we have experience answering a range of questions related to various mental health conditions. We are here for you.
You may want to know:
- Why do I feel like this?
- When will I get better?
- How can I get back to being ‘myself’?
- When will I feel like ‘myself’ again?
- What is causing these feelings?
Working through these questions is how we help create your GP mental health care plan.
What is a mental health care plan, and why do you need one?
A mental health care plan outlines your treatment requirements and the goals you are working towards regarding your mental health. Anyone diagnosed with a mental health disorder by their doctor is eligible for a GP mental health care plan.
With a mental health care plan, you are entitled to Medicare rebates for up to 20 individual appointments per calendar year with specialist services. It gives you subsidised access to psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, and social workers. This takes the financial stress away and allows you to seek the professional help you need to be your best self.
What mental health issues can a GP assist with?
The Heroes Home Doctor team has experience recognising the symptoms of various mental health issues. These include, but are not limited to:
Anxiety can affect anyone and is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders.
Bipolar disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences manic highs and depressive lows.
Schizophrenia affects a person’s ability to think, behave and feel clearly.
Personality Disorders affect how you think, feel, and participate in everyday life.
Eating disorders can lead to severe medical and psychiatric conditions.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Drug and alcohol addiction have a damaging impact on physical health and relationships.
If you live on the Victorian surf coast, have experienced any of the above conditions, and want an appointment with a mental health GP nearby, contact us for an at-home or Telehealth consult.
Mental Health GP – Frequently Asked Questions
Can a GP prescribe mental health medication?
Yes, your GP can provide mental health medication if needed. A GP specialising in mental health can work with you to create a holistic treatment plan that includes medication and other options.
How does mental health affect physical health?
If you are experiencing a mental health disorder, your physical health is likely to suffer due to a lack of motivation to take care of yourself. Ways to improve this impact on your life include:
- regular exercise
- a healthy diet
- an appointment with your GP to discuss your mental health concerns.
How to help someone with mental health issues?
3 things you can do to help someone you know who is struggling with mental health issues are:
- Let them know you care and will support them
- Suggest they see their doctor for a GP mental health care plan (and offer to go with them)
- Share with them professionally produced health resources
Is mental health a disability?
Mental health issues are considered a disability when they impact a person’s ability to function daily in everyday life. A disability that arises from a mental health illness is known as a psychosocial disability.
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Can you go to your GP for mental health concerns?